The Magic of An IT Application Inventory

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Ever wonder if your business is getting the most out of its IT? Not sure if SCCM should be replaced by Microsoft InTune and Autopilot or if there’s another RMM tool out there better suited to your business needs? Are you getting trapped by outdated software applications that auto-renew their licensing? Whether you outsource or have your own in-house IT department, every enterprise can benefit from an IT strategy that will help you answer these questions and more.

The first step to creating a successful IT strategy is by building an IT Application Inventory. This is different from having a software asset inventory. It’s a simple spreadsheet that includes specific information that comes together to guide your IT strategy, roadmap, and budget detailing how your business can best utilize the support and services available.

What should be included in an IT Application Inventory? Get started by having at least the following columns in your spreadsheet.

Application Name
Vendor
Service Category (Business, Infrastructure, Productivity, Security, etc.)
Number of servers required by the application (if applicable)
The installed version of the software (if not SaaS)
Currently released version of the software (if not SaaS)
Renewal Date
Renewal Cost
License Cost Per Seat
Is the application of a cloud candidate? Y/N
Business Owner, configuration manager, and administrator for the application

A sound IT Application Inventory will:

Provide a comprehensive overview of your business’ infrastructure
Enable you to build and regularly assess an annual budget
Help determine whether an existing product or service should be migrated away from or upgraded. This will identify the appropriate amount of time needed for projects on your IT strategy’s roadmap – new application migrations and upgrades can be time-consuming.
Clarify whether existing applications have overlapping features and functions and allow you to save time and money by eliminating redundant tools.
Identify technical debt and help prioritize when projects should be completed.
Give you a big picture view of what’s keeping your enterprise’s infrastructure on-premise.
Allow you to evaluate where you can leverage new and modern IT tools.

Once your IT Application is created, you’ll be able to build and clearly articulate a 2-year IT strategy. Having a clear strategy will build the leadership confidence required to fund projects, will empower your IT team to deliver their services, improve communication between departments, keep business functions in line with their directives, and improve the flow of information to reduce wasted time and effort on vendor review, selection, approval, and implementation.

Who could have imagined the numerous rewards reaped from one simple spreadsheet?